Knoxville (WVLT) - Allergies have a strong grip on Americans especially during the spring.
Knoxville, Tennessee was just named number by Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America as the most challenging place in America for people with allergies.
Local physicians are seeing more patients right now because of the tree pollen floating around our city.
William Wilkerson doesn't even flinch as he gets his weekly allergy shot. He's an equipment operator for KUB and he works outside all the time feeling the symptoms from spring pollen.
"Itchy eyes watery eyes runny nose sneezing things like that," Wilkerson said.
Sound familiar. According to a recent study Knoxville ranks sixth in the nation for allergy sufferers like William. Lexington is number one and Johnson City is number three.
All top six cities are in the south.
"The further south you go the longer the growing seasons are for trees grass and weeds," Dr. Paul Carter said.
Right now Dr. Carter is seeing patients suffering from tree pollen. Next comes grass pollen which lasts until June. Then weed pollen and ragweed in August, but you may experience more symptoms right now.
"Usually people have had two or three months during the winter when they didn't really have many symptoms," Dr. Carter said.
They can be treated with over the counter anti-histamines like Benadryl, Claritin or Zyrtec. If those don't work you can use prescribed nasal sprays or like william get shots.
At first he was running from the shots, but now he's glad he's getting them.
"Is it a pain to come in and get it done? No not really because the benefits outweigh the shot itself," Wilkerson said.
And that's good news for allergy sufferers who live in and around Knoxville, Tennessee.
Another thing doctors suggest is not going outside in the early mornings or on windy days when pollen is more abundant. Immediately after rain the air is relatively clear of pollen.